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Story of the Crescent Moon on Shiva’s Head

All pictures, paintings and idols of Lord Shiva are depicted with a crescent shaped moon (Chandra) on His head. An interesting incident led to Lord Shiva wearing the moon on his head. Daksha, the master of civilization, had married twenty seven of his daughters – the Nakshatras, lunar asterisms, to moon-god, Chandra. But Chandra ignored the 26 Nakshatrams and was enamored by only one among them the beautiful Rohini.

The other daughters complained to Daksha about Chandra’s partisan behavior and this angered Daskha who cursed Chandra that your body of which you are so proud will fade away.

Soon the body of Chandra started fading away and he approached Lord Vishnu who directed him to Lord Shiva who is the supreme physician and the keeper of the sacred herb Soma.

Lord Shiva helped Chandra in regaining his lost luster and glory with the herb Soma. But Daksha cursed him again and he took the help of Lord Shiva and this continued for a long period. Finally, Shiva asked Chandra to take refuge in his lock of hair on his head where he will find enough soma to rejuvenate him periodically.

Thus the curse of Daksha causes the moon to wane and Lord Shiva rejuvenates him to wax again.

As Shiva carries Chandra on his head he is also known as Somnath.

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